USUAL POST OPERATIVE COURSE
- PAIN: Some pain/discomfort in ear or head for the first few days. Occasional shooting pains are common in ear and head. Use pain medication as needed. If pain medication cause nausea and/or vomiting, call the office.
- DRAINAGE: Brownish, reddish colored drainage (blood and dissolving packing material) is normal for about a week. This should decrease in volume over that time.
- TINNITUS: In the first few weeks after surgery you may have popping, clicking, pulsations and other sounds in the ear. Ringing of the ears may last 1-2 months and decreases as hearing improves. Some hearing improvements may be noticed immediately, but most occurs within 2 months.
- NUMBNESS: Temporary numbness in and around the ear is normal following surgery. This may last up to 6 months. It is OK to sleep on your operative ear after surgery. Some soreness or stiffness of the jaw is also common. Chewing gum can help loosen tight muscles in the jaw if needed.
- BALANCE: Instability or lack of balance may persist for a week or more due to swelling in the ear, implant site and irritation of the inner ear structure.
- DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE OR “POP” YOUR EARS: The ear drum and, if repaired, the ossicles (ear bones) are held in place with packing material. Air forced up the eustachian tube can push these structures apart. Sneezing can also be detrimental. If you have to sneeze, allow it to come out of your mouth.
- KEEP THE EAR DRY: No water down the ear canal for 6 weeks. When bathing or washing hair, use a cotton ball coated with vaseline in the ear, and do not allow any water to directly contact the ear. If there is an incision behind the ear, this should be coated with an antibiotic ointment twice a day. No swimming until the doctor advises you otherwise.
- DO NOT CLEAN THE EAR CANAL: Do not clean or remove any packing or gauze from the ear canal. You may change the cotton ball as needed. You may use a damp cloth to clean the outside of the ear. Do not put anything down into the ear canal.
- TRAVEL: Air travel is allowed 1 day following surgery. If you have trouble clearing your ears, you may take an over the counter decongestant 2 hours prior to take off, and for trips over 6 hours, again before landing. We recommend chewing gum and drinking fluids liberally while in flight.
PROBLEMS: If any of the following occur, call the office.
- DIZZINESS: Following ear surgery, some dizziness, especially with rapid head motion, is normal for 1-2 days. PERSISTENT or SEVERE dizziness is not normal.
- FOUL DRAINAGE: Foul smelling drainage of pus indicates an infection. This will require early treatment with antibiotics and/or drops.
- SWELLING: Increasing swelling and tenderness behind the ear, may indicate infection or a collection of blood under the skin. This will need to be checked.
- TEMPERATURE ELEVATION: Temp above 101 degrees may indicate infection. This will need to be checked.
You should have a post op appointment for 1 week after surgery.
For questions, problems or refills, call the office at (425) 775-6651.
Pain medications require a written prescription, so call for a refill before you run out of medication.
Medication or refill requests must be made during office hours.
There is always a doctor on call for emergent problems after office hours: (425) 775-6651